Explain the relative influence of both children’s and adults’ behaviours upon the formation of attachment.

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  • Influence of child and adult in attachment formation
    • Adult
      • Ainsworth (1970) - strange situation test
        • Observed child with mother, child with stranger, child alone and reunited with mother and stranger
        • Four attachment styles develop from mothering styles
          • Which are in relation child's temperament
            • Child could have difficult or slow to warm up temperament (Thomas and Chess, 1977)
              • Some mothers may struggle to provide secure attachment
          • Type A - insecure, anxious/avoidant
            • Rejecting carer
              • Child indifferent and comforted by stranger
          • Type B - secure
            • Responsive carer
              • Upset on separation but easily consoled
          • Type C - insecure, anxious/resistant
            • Inconsistent carer
              • Upset on separation but resists comfort
          • Type D - insecure/disorganised
            • Inconsistent carer - may abuse child
              • Unable to deal with stress and dazed, scared or confused on separation and reunion
        • Lab setting - different toys and room
          • how similar is this to what the child would normally encounter
    • Child
      • Bowlby (1969)
        • Innate basis to attachment
          • Protection from predators
          • Need for companionship
        • Infants produce special behaviours that shape the behaviour of their carers
          • Sucking
            • Piaget (1952) - infants **** on objects even when they are not hungry
              • Innate behaviour that inhibits baby's distress
          • Cuddling
            • Infants adjust their posture to mould themselves to parents' body
            • Harlow (1974) - baby monkeys preferred to cling to the cloth surrogate
              • Physical contact just as important as food and drink for attachment
          • Looking
            • Infant seeks eye to eye contact with parents
              • Tronick et al. (1978) - infant turned away when mother didn't respond
          • Smiling
            • Visual stimuli elicit smiles initially
              • At 3 months, specific faces  that the baby is attached to will elicit smiles
          • Crying
            • Babies cry when they are distressed
              • Parent learns through negative reinforcementpick up the baby when it cries
                • Useful means for the baby to obtain assistance
        • Studies done in institutions with lack of stimulation and inconsistent carers


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